The Duo of TUXEDO (Mayer Hawthorne and Jake One) Discuss Their New Album ‘Tuxedo III,’ Releasing It On Their Own Label and More!
Posted On 22 Aug 2019
On July 19th, via their own label, Funk on Sight, the critically-acclaimed funk duo Tuxedo (Grammy-nominated R&B/soul recording artist Mayer Hawthorne and Grammy-nominated hip-hop producer Jake One) released their new album, Tuxedo III.
“The Tuxedo Way” is the latest single out from the collection. The video captures the party-starting anthem’s danceable spirit by showcasing some of the world’s best poppers. Directed by Ian Eastwood (former member of Mos Wanted Crew as featured on America’s Best Dance Crew; World of Dance season 1), the new video features one of the originators of the “popping” style, Popin’ Pete [Timothy Earl Solomon] (of the legendary Electric Boogaloos crew), along with the world-renowned talents of Jaja Vankova (So You Think You Can Dance season 12 finalist; America’s Best Dance Crew season 6 champion), Alan “Kid Boogie” Leal, Lily Frias (America’s Best Dance Crew season 7), Marie Poppins (America’s Best Dance Crew 8), Hector “Bean” Flores (America’s Best Dance Crew season 7), and Shockwave, in addition to Eastwood.
Produced and arranged by Tuxedo, the 11-track album features the singles “The Tuxedo Way,” “Toast 2 Us” and “Vibrations” and an array of special guests including MF DOOM, Gabriel Garzón-Montano, Parisalexa, Leven Kali, Battlecat, DāM-FunK, Gavin Turek and Benny Sings.
Tuxedo is about to wrap up their summer headlining tour in support of the new album. The 21-date outing, which has featured a five-piece live band, has made stops in Chicago, Minneapolis, Seattle, Vancouver, Portland, San Francisco and Santa Cruz before stopping in Los Angeles August 23rd at the Globe Theatre and wrapping August 24th in San Diego. See below for full list of remaining tour dates and visit www.tuxedofunk.com for ticketing information.
Bonding over a shared love of Chic, Parliament, and the other signs in the greater funk Zodiac, Tuxedo (Los Angeles-based Hawthorne and Seattle-based One), has been steadily making a name for themselves over the past five years, standing at the forefront of a new wave of gangster boogie – one that owes as much to G-funk as P-funk. Their first full-length release, Tuxedo (2015, Stones Throw Records), debuted at #1 on iTunes’ R&B chart in the U.S. and Top 10 on Billboard‘s R&B Albums Chart. Their follow-up album on Stones Throw Records, Tuxedo II (2017), which premiered with a special performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, is a modern testament to unity and positivity in trying times, serving as a reminder that the dance floor will always be there to welcome you, whoever you are. Tuxedo has since performed on Conan and NPR’s Tiny Desk and been featured by the likes of Billboard, Wax Poetics, Mass Appeal, DJ Mag, HipHopDX, Nylon, OkayPlayer, Huffington Post, EW.com, and Medium, among many others, throughout their rise. Tuxedo’s music has been streamed nearly 40 million times on Spotify, with their playful, throwback-centric music videos amassing over 16 million views on YouTube. Considering their individual successes – Mayer Hawthorne’s four acclaimed solo albums and Jake One’s impressive production work for hip-hop’s elite including Drake, Future, The Weeknd and De La Soul – and eight Grammy nominations between the two of them, it’s no surprise that their powers combined have yet again yielded an absolute slapper, perfect for dance parties in 2019 and beyond.
Thursday, August 22
Santa Cruz, CA @ The Catalyst
Friday, August 23
Los Angeles, CA @ The Globe Theater
Saturday, August 24
San Diego, CA @ The Observatory
Connect With Tuxedo Online Here:
Website // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Soundcloud // Spotify // Apple Music // YouTube
Listen to Tuxedo III Here:
Spotify // Apple Music – iTunes // Amazon // Google Play // TIDAL // SoundCloud
Learn more about Tuxedo in the following All Access interview with them here:
Now that we are well into the 8th month of the year, how would you say that 2019 is treating you two? What are some goals that you have for this year? How close are you to reaching them?
Mayer: I’ve got too much music to release and too little time! I’m trying to space it out but this is a new problem for me, haha. We also have 5 music videos in the can right now and a lot of tracks so it’s gonna be a busy year.
Jake: I’m not really sure if I have a specific yearly goal anymore besides making music that I really like.
Can you recall the moment when you decided to form Tuxedo? How did you go about deciding on your name? What other names were you considering?
Jake: We met at a rap show in Seattle and we started making songs together purely for our own car stereos. We didn’t really have any intention of releasing them.
Mayer: We knew we wanted a sort of peripheral, one-word name like Chic or Zapp or Cameo. Those were the kind of groups we were modeling ourselves after. ‘Tuxedo’ just seemed like it fit the sound of the music. Elegant funk.
Why would you say that you two work so well together? Where is one of you weak where the other is strong and vice-versa? Why does this duo really work?
Mayer: Jake is really good at starting the ideas and I’m better at finishing them. We definitely have a good yin/yang thing. I think we both have a similar sense of when something sounds right.
Jake: There’s a fine line between keepin’ it G and Kenny G.
Can you talk about the artists that are featured on this album? How did you choose the musicians featured on the collection to work with?
Jake: Everybody we featured on the album were friends and actually into Tuxedo. I met Leven Kali at a session I did for 21 Savage and he mentioned that he loved Tuxedo so that really jumped out at me and we kept in touch. Musician-wise we pretty much stayed with the family. Sam Wish is basically the 3rd member of Tuxedo so he played a big role as usual.
What was the inspiration for your single “Toast 2 Us”? How would you say that it prepares listeners for the rest of the album? What about your previous track “The Tuxedo Way”?
Jake: I actually made the track for “Toast 2 Us” in 2006 and kinda came back to it and thought it would be cool for the new record because we wanted to feature the 808 a bit more. We haven’t really made a song like it before. “The Tuxedo Way” was the last song we made for the album and it really was just a perfect summary of us.
Mayer: We felt like it was time to take control of our own masters. The industry has changed a lot in the 5 years since we started Tuxedo. We took a big gamble on ourselves and so far it’s been paying off. We’ve got some truly amazing fans and I think they feel good knowing their money is going directly to us.
Where do you think you are both happiest- in the studio recording new music, on stage performing or elsewhere?
Mayer: Touring is a grind but it’s crazy fun. There’s nothing like that feeling of being on stage seeing people singing along to your songs. I think we’re both more comfortable in the studio but we like to challenge ourselves too.
What has been a favorite show of yours to date? What do you think makes an ideal performance for this band? Where are you excited to play at next this summer? What can fans expect from your summer shows?
Mayer: Hmm, Santa Ana recently was next level. Dallas was a crazy surprise too. The best shows are sometimes the unexpected ones. Jake and I were both DJs first so we put our live show together like a DJ set. This is definitely the best set yet. It’s a non-stop party.
We are currently living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious to know how your own music is reflecting this time period? If you don’t think it is, why is that? Would you say that other musicians are making music that has been influenced by this climate?
Jake: We are definitely living through a crazy time politically and I think we are just trying to let all that shit go and make people have fun with our music.
Mayer: Tours can be really wasteful operations. We banned plastic bottles on the tour bus and on stage this time around. Tuxedo loves the Earth <3
Who would you love to work with in the future? Who are some of your favorite artists right now? What do you think would be a dream collaboration for this duo? What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
Mayer: We’ve never had guests on a Tuxedo album before and we knocked a lot of them out on this new record. We only worked with artists who we’re actually cool with like Benny Sings, Leven Kali, Dam-Funk and MF DOOM. They brought a whole new dimension to what we do.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
Tuxedo is definitely about bringing all different kinds of people together to dance and having a good time. Feels like a holiday.